The Natural World: Animal patterns

Animals offer photographers a wealth of visual material. Interesting forms, texture, patterns, movement, and color enrich the image. This is a selection of recent photos of animals and their environment from around the world that are captured with this in mind. [28 photos total]

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Sumatran tiger cubs and their parents walk around their enclosure at London Zoo in London, Jan. 5, 2015. The annual stock take and animal count, a requirement of London Zoo's license, included additions to the international conservation breeding programme such as the three tiger cubs and Philippine crocodiles. (Toby Melville /Reuters) #
Penguins swim in their pool during the annual stock take at London Zoo, Jan. 5. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press) #
A one-year-old baby elephant stands close to its mother at Chitwan National Park in Chitwan, south of Kathmandu Dec. 30. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters) #
Green and black poison dart frogs (Dendrobates auratus) are part of the new "Land of Frogs" permanent exhibition at the Gamboa Rainforest Hotel on the outskirts of Panama City, Jan. 7. (Carlos Jasso/Reuters) #
A young coyote is seen on the tarmac of the airport of El Salvador after the 4th stage of the Dakar Rally 2015, from Chilecito to Copiapo Jan. 7. (Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters) #
Pied avocets fly over the Boyang lake in Jiujiang, Jiangxi province, Dec. 21. (Reuters) #
Border Collie Mumpitz shakes himself after taking a bath in the North Sea at the beach in Hedehusum on the island of Foehr, Germany, Jan. 2. (Maurizio Gambarini/dpa via Associated Press) #
White-spotted jellyfishes are pictured during the annual inventory in Hagenbeck's zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany on Dec. 29. (Fabian Bimmer/Reuters) #
A dog appears to chase its own shadow as it runs along its owners, who also cast long shadows, while walking on a flagged square in Berlin, Jan 4. (Lukas Schulze/EPA) #
A young Galapagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) is seen together with its mother Nigrita (back) and father Jumbo (R) at an enclosure at the zoo in Zurich Dec. 17. (Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters) #
Snow falls on the back of the horse, Fred, at the Nevins Farm in Metheun. (David L. Ryan/Globe Staff) #
A small owl yawns as it sits in the snow in Ansung City, Gyeonggi province, South Korea, Dec 4. (Kim Jae-Sun/EPA) #
A swan spread its wings in a flooded rice field in Motono, Inzai city in Chiba prefecture, near Tokyo, Jan 3. (FRANCK ROBICHON/EPA) #
A python swallows a wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park in Australia's Northern Territory. The medium-build python, a constrictor, was between 2.5 to three metres (8.2 to 9.8 feet) long and the feast could keep it full up for three months. (Paul O'Neill/Parks and WIldlife Commission via AFP/Getty Images) #
Gulls compete for bread thrown by tourists in central Prague, Czech Republic on Dec. 31. (Flip Singer/EPA) #
Capybara soak in hot springs with citron at a park in Ito, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan, Dec. 29. Capybaras prefer open-air hot spring to keep themselves warm in this time of the year. (Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press) #
A Pacific Gopher snake is on display at the Imhoff Snake Park in Cape Town, South Africa, Dec. 29. The Pacific Gopher snake is a large nonvenomous colubrid snake native to the western coast of the United States. (Nic Bothma/EPA) #
Monarch butterflies cling to a plant at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California, Dec. 30. Monarch butterflies may warrant U.S. Endangered Species Act protection because of farm-related habitat loss blamed for sharp declines in cross-country migrations of the orange-and-black insects. (Michael Fiala/Reuters) #
A snowy owl takes flight at the Racine Yacht Club, on Jan. 2. in Racine, Wis. (AP Photo/The Journal Times, Scott Anderson) (Scott Anderson/The Journal Times via Associated Press) #
A mahout decorates an elephant's forehead using chalk while preparing for the Elephant Festival at Sauraha in Chitwan, south of Kathmandu, Dec. 26. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuter) #
Greater flamingos take off from a salt lake in the Cypriot southeastern port city of Larnaca on Dec. 17. (Florian Choblet/AFP/Getty Images) #
Visitors take pictures while Beluga whales and their trainers present "The heart of Ocean" show at the Harbin Polarland in the northern city of Harbin, Heilongjiang province, Jan. 6. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters) #
A pigeon is displayed for sale at a pigeon cafe in downtown Amman Dec. 27. The sport of flying homing pigeons in Jordan has turned from a hobby into a booming business. (Muhammad Hamed/Reuters) #
A four-day old zebra (Equus burchelli boehmi) stands next to its mother Romy of the Duch Safaripark Beekse Bergen, in Budapest Zoo and Botanic Garden of the Hungarian capital on Jan. 8. (ATTILA KISBENEDEK/AFP/Getty Images) #
A dairy cow stops to look up while feeding at a dairy farm in Ashland Ohio Dec. 12. (Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters) #
Swans fly in the sky above Lietzen in the district of Maerkisch-Oberland, Germany Jan. 3. Currently, migratory birds like geese, swans or cranes can be observed searching for food on fields around eastern Brandenburg. (Patrick Pleul/EPA) #
A worker puts a fish to dry in Demak, Central Java on Dec. 23. (Andreas Fitr/Antara Foto via Reuters) #
Men ride a boat as seagulls fly over the waters of the river Yamuna on a cold, winter morning in New Delhi Dec. 18. (Ahmad Masood/Reuters) #

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